Communicating School Redesign

 I encourage readers to learn more  by visiting the Shaping Our Future Together website.  Also, do explore the incredible initiatives, readings, and resources  found on the Up for Learning website.  This exemplary work is led by Helen Beattie, Ed.D., Executive Director of UP for Learning and the co-Founder and Director of Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together.

 Mount Anthony youth-adult team and Helen, Thanks for sharing this article! We look forward to more updates. Cheers, jean  

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Mt. Anthony’s high school “youth-adult team” has been focused on building understanding and support for Vermont’s newly legislated Personalized Learning Plans for all students.

This post is about the efforts of two students on that team – who reached out to the vast majority of the student body by visiting individual Teacher Advisory groups to share information and answer questions.

There are currently seven high school teams engaged in this work – part of a state of Vermont communications campaign grounded in a youth-adult partnership model. The newly revised website has many stories of these schools in action: www.shapingourfuturetogether.org

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Mt. Anthony Union High School

Over the course of two months, team members Lindsay Restino and Charlotte Windover along with two members of their larger group that combines CSR and M3: Mindset, Metacognition & Motivation, visited 650+ 9th-11th grade students in their advisory groups to talk to them about Act 77.

“First, we started talking about Act 77 and then we tied that into personal learning plans and all the different flexible pathways they will be able to access in the future—the freshmen will,” said Lindsey. “The main questions from high school students concerned proficiency-based grading and how that will affect getting into college. They were able to respond that colleges are changing and they were ready with a list of about 80 colleges that included Ivy League schools that are now meeting about proficiency-based grading and what type of transcripts they are looking for. Commenting on a visit to the Compass School recently, Lindsey noted that they have a very different type of transcript and yet “their kids are going to really amazing schools. If anything, it helps them that they look a little bit different from everyone else.”

After meeting with all of the 9th-11th graders, the girls decided to engage the middle schoolers, too, because this is going to affect them the most. Their takeaway was that middle school students see the personal learning plans as something that’s going to help them.

“For the high schoolers,” said Charlotte, “there’s a notion that it’s going to hurt them because of the college piece. High schoolers say, ‘How are colleges going to look at this?’ Middle schoolers say, ‘Are colleges going to look at this?’  It’s a different attitude.”

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The Team! Sue Trecartin, UP for Learning, 1/27/16

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  UP for Learning helps educational institutions across the country fully engage students in their own learning through a research-based model that focuses on deepening youth-adult partnerships in schools. On the cutting edge of the national movement toward student-centered education, UP for Learning provides expert coaching, facilitation and training to youth-adult teams. It offers strategies and tools for building a school community in which learning is engaging for everyone and youth are fully empowered. Based in Vermont, UP for Learning also conducts policy advocacy to elevate student voice in learning and decision-making on a state level.

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